May 20, 2015
WSG senior fisheries scientist Ed Melvin, together with research scientist Troy Guy and colleagues at NOAA, Oregon State University, the Oregon and California Sea Grant Programs, and other federal, tribal, and fishing-industry partners, has received the 2015 Presidential Migratory Bird Stewardship Award, honoring a federal program for outstanding efforts on behalf of bird conservation. Ed has pioneered, proven, and refined the use of streamer lines to protect endangered albatrosses and other bait-chasing seabirds from getting hooked and drowned in longline fisheries. From Alaska to the Japanese tuna fishery off Alaska, these bait-scaring lines have dramatically reduced, sometimes even eliminated, seabird bycatch. Based on his research, NOAA Fisheries has begun the process of requiring streamer lines on West Coast sablefish longliners, and he and his colleagues are helping fishermen deploy them.